Thanks Dad

02022-12-10 | Ottmar | 1 comment

Today was Ottokar’s 107th birthday. I just realized that I will be 64 in February. That means I will be the same age my dad was when I came back from a year in Asia and left again, after a couple of months, for America. He seemed so old to me at the time. I don’t feel old. It’s always a surprise when I think of my age. I guess there is a reason why I don’t get carted when I buy alcohol. I actually laughed out loud when I figured out when my dad turned 64, at the end of 1979. I am truly grateful for how relatively easy my life has been. No war for me, no fascism… although we seem to be edging closer. I wasn’t denied entry to university, as he was when he returned from war. Too old they told him… Me, I just didn’t want to go to university. My choice. I didn’t have a mother who was mean, like he did. I didn’t have to grow up without a father, as he had to. Thanks Ottokar.

Ottokar completed his life, at the age of 92, in 2008. On the phone, his last words to me were Verdammte Scheisse, because he didn’t like being in a hospital and didn’t like that it might ruin our plans to have him show me Vienna that year, where he had at one point lived for several years.

1 Comment

  1. JaneParham

    Yes, I’ll still need you,
    Yes, I’ll still feed you,
    When you’re sixty-four!
    – after The Beatles

    Touching thoughts about your dad. I like his final comment to you. It makes me want to chuckle, though that would be terribly inappropriate.

    I was sitting with my mother around midnight, reading to her as she was going to sleep for the night. Suddenly there was a loud swishing sound as she threw her arms up and lurched upward, as if being lifted. Then she settled back down on the pillow. She said nothing. But what did I do? I laughed and said, “Oh, Mother, come on now. Stop that! MOTHER!”. It took me a few more beats to realize that she had “completed her life”.

    For years and years, she was always playing with me by going totally silent, not answering my concerned cries, then as I slowly crept closer to her to see whether she was alive, when I got up near her face, she would snort and start laughing. So you see I thought she was playing!

    I miss her so much!


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